Fourth-Year Coach Has Reached NCAA Tournament in Past Three Years on Illini Staff
Memorable Big Ten Tournament Run Highlights 2012
Illinois lands more shots on goal but comes up empty-handed
Offense delivers first multi-goal performance
Illini suffer first lost of the season
Jeff Freeman is in his fourth season on the University of Illinois women's soccer coaching staff and was promoted to associate head coach in 2014. Illinois has reached at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament during all three years he has been on staff, highlighted by a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2013. Freeman helped Vanessa DiBernardo earn a pair of All-America honors and saw Jannelle Flaws lead the country and break the school record for goals scored. Freeman also was a clinician at the 2014 NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia and will serve as a clinician again in 2015.
The Illini have turned in two of the top four single-season goal totals in school history under Freeman. The Orange and Blue netted 54 goals in 2013 and 53 goals in 2011, which rank third and fourth, respectively, on the all-time list. UI boasts an overall record of 38-23-9 over the past three seasons with three NCAA Tournament appearances, a Big Ten Tournament title in 2011 and a Big Ten Tournament runner-up finish in 2012.
In 2013, Freeman helped guide the Illini to their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in school history, as they finished 11-9-3 overall. He coached Big Ten Forward of the Year Jannelle Flaws to a school-record 23 goals, which was tied for the most in the NCAA. Vanessa DiBernardo, who became Illinois' highest drafted player in school history following the season, completed her decorated career No. 3 on the all-time list with 43 goals, with Freeman coaching her during three of four seasons.
In 2012, Freeman served as the interim head coach for the non-conference portion of the schedule while Rayfield was coaching with U.S. Soccer's U-20 National Team at the World Cup. Freeman helped coach the Illini to the NCAA Tournament where they advanced to the second round after knocking off neighbor-state rival Missouri. Freeman also helped guide the Illini to their fifth Big Ten Tournament title game. In addition, Freeman took the reigns of the Illini program for the first seven games of the season against one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country. Illinois finished 10-9-4 on the year.
In 2011, Freeman was integral in the process of implementing the formation changes that led the Orange and Blue to a 17-5-2 overall record, the most wins in a single season in school history and a Big Ten Tournament title victory over No. 11 Penn State. Freeman worked with both the offensive and defensive units throughout the season, also serving as a key contributor to the Illini's recruiting efforts while performing additional administrative and travel-related duties.
Freeman brought a wealth of experience and tactical expertise to Champaign, Illinois, after serving as a member of the University of Miami (Fla.) women's soccer staff from 2004-10, including the final three years as the associate head coach. He played a prominent role in Miami earning conference and national recognition with top-25 rankings and back-to-back appearances in the 2007-08 NCAA Tournaments as he assisted in all aspects of recruiting and team administration. As the recruiting coordinator, Freeman was responsible for the Hurricanes' 2007 top-25 recruiting class, which included ACC Freshman of the Year Brittney Steinbruch, and fellow U-20 National Team member Brittney Macdonald.
Freeman joined the Hurricanes' staff after serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Missouri State, for four years. The Bears' goalkeeping units earned Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Defensive Player of the Year and conference tournament MVP honors in addition to weekly MVC defensive accolades under Freeman's tutelage, while Missouri State won the MVC crown and earned its first NCAA Tournament appearance with Freeman's guidance.
As a student-athlete at Missouri State, Freeman earned academic all-conference recognition as a goalkeeper with the Bears and was a member of the 1997 squad that made the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance after earning a top-10 national ranking and the MVC regular season title.
Freeman, who earned a bachelor's and master's in education from Missouri State, is accredited as a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) `A' Licensed Coach and holds a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
The Jeff Freeman File
Updated September 2014